Do you know about the terrible threats to orangutans, and why are they killed every year? Well! The population count of orangutans is always a challenge – different assumptions put counts between 50,000 to 65,000 orangutans left in the forests – we certainly know that around 2,000 – 3,000 species are killed in one year.

Numerous researchers think that orangutans could be extinct in the forests in not more than 50 years at this loss.

Their presence has not been threatened so severely. The economic crises mixed with human abuse and natural disasters of the wild are pushing the closest cousins of human beings to extinction.

Today, the main threats to orangutans are:

  • Illegal Pet Trade
  • Illegal Hunting
  • Palm Oil Planting
  • Loss of Habitat through Deforestation

The orangutans have lost more than 80% of their homes in the last 20 years, and a supposed 1/3rd of the wild species died during the 1997 – 1998 fires.

As astonishing as the rapid damage of rainforests has been in the past few years, nothing is comparable to the land amount being bulldozed by the plantation of palm oil in the 21st century. Every palm plantation that harms millions of hectares in gaining significant profits also takes the lives of numerous orangutans brings with it. Latest headlines published how one palm oil company hunted the orangutans while increasing their cash crop making. In the meantime, the governmental orders, intended to secure the animals and the land, vanish fast than do the trees.

If things cannot change soon, if the essential threats to orangutans – hunting, poaching, deforestation, and palm oil – are not discussed in a sustained, urgent, and serious manner, the wild species will be left from this planet.

The orangutans moved over hundreds of miles around the rainforests of Southeast Asia once. Now, they survive on the Sumatra and Borneo islands. Their habitat is lush, beautiful rainforest, and shared by numerous other species that are soon to be endangered, for example, rhinos, elephants, and tigers. The large rivers cross this forest, and it has a more significant number of species of animals, birds, and trees per acre of every place around the globe. The resources of this forest are demanding to guess as they are so numerous and precious. Numerous species of animals and plants have still to be explored there.

Today, even their home on the remaining two islands is vulnerable. The loss of their habitat is the result of financial pressure, natural diseases, ignorance, and greed of human beings. The inhabitants of Indonesia have increased from 10 million individuals at the start of the 20th century to more than 240 million population in 2014. The requirements of numerous people with less landmass are incredibly urgent, permitting less time to care or plan about the naturalistic environment. Orangutans and people require the same alluvial place, and in orangutans versus human war, the orangutans cannot win.

Threats to Orangutans


  • Burn and slash methods utilized by the local farmers
  • Burn and slash methods to plant more palm oil plantations
  • Illegal logging
  • The transmigration plan of the government to move more Java population to the Borneo rainforests
  • Fires resulted from the above methods to clear land were inflamed by more dry weather due to drought
  • Burn and slash techniques cause the coal and peat deposits deep in the ground to explode and escalate the fires further

Illegal Pet Trade

The trade-in young orangutans – although illegal – keep on to thrive. Thousands of young orangutans are taken from the forests for the pet trade in one year. It is done by killing the mom and taking the infant. It is supposed that 4 to 5 orangutans die for every infant reaching the market. They die because of injury from falling numerous hundred feet of the forest floor while their mothers were dead, of the disturbance of seeing their mother died and probably butchered, from infecting diseases from human beings (they are vulnerable to every human being disease), or from yielding to poor situations where they are usually kept following the capture.

While the young orangutans are adorable, they make spoiled pets. Every wild animal outgrows quickly, being dependent, cuddly babies and grow into unmanageable and dangerous, healthy adults, entirely inappropriate as pets.


The orangutans can be hunted for good food either from the law ignorance or the neglect of the law due to poverty and/ or hunger. When human beings’ settlement impinges on the wild, usually wild orangutan species are curious to eat fruits in human farms and gardens – it creates battle, and usually, the orangutans are, somehow justifiably, considered as pests. As the adult females are slain, the infants are sold, and skulls of the dead can be used to make souvenirs that are traded illicitly all over Kalimantan.

In the past, poor concession management, burn and slash agriculture, and prohibited logging have lowered the rainforest homes. A region in South Kalimantan stated that almost 80 percent of the logging that took place in that part was not done legally.

For numerous transmigrants (individuals relocated from Java to ease crowding on the country’s highly populated island), the only survival is agriculture. Borneo’s poor soil cannot yield these crops as they are produced on the rich Java volcanic soils. Thus, to survive, the transmigrants can use or log a burn and slash agriculture that the land is unable to support. With the growth of population, the interval permitted for the wild to recover lessens.

Further, these conditions are increased by extreme weather periods, for example, more extended El Nino in 2015. Fires raged through Indonesia, East Kalimantan on the Borneo Island for more than nine months. Smoke from the fire was a health threat for states as far away as Malaysia and Singapore.

Hundreds of wild acres in Kalimantan were devastated, leaving numerous orangutans displaced and badly seeking protection in the village plantation and fruit trees. The orangutans are not welcome, and numerous have been mutilated or killed or eaten by hungry people whose crops of rice failed two years repeatedly. With the start of the fire, the coal and peat deposits common to the island further caused ignition and heightened the fires.

Palm Oil

Nowadays, palm oil is a significant threat to orangutans’ future, on the public radar an era ago. Here I am going to explain the fast-growing threat to orangutans:

Palm oil is the globally traded commodity of agriculture that is utilized in 50% of all the consumer stuff, from packaged food and lipsticks to biofuels and body lotions. In the United States, palm oil requirements increased three times in the past five years, taking the cultivation of palm oil deep into the rainforests and making this crop among the essential reasons for rainforest devastation globally.

Almost 85% of palm oil is grown in the PNG (Papua New Guinea), Malaysia, and Indonesia’s tropical countries on the industrial plantation having severe effects on the climate, orangutans, forest people, and environment.

According to CSPI (Center for Science in Public Interest), though in 1970, the area with palm oil plantation in Indonesia gas increases from 30 folds to 3 million hectares. Well!! The region given to palm oil plantation has been grown from 12 folds to about 3 ½ million hectares.

The majority of scientific research detailing the outlays of palm oil increase to biodiversity, the indigenous tribes, endangered species, media pressure, and worldwide carbon emissions on the threats of orangutans and other endangered species such as Bornean elephants, Sumatran tiger, the adaptation of forests to farms remains persistent.

A controversial system under deliberation by the government in Indonesia in the alteration of almost 2 million hectares of primeval forests along with the Indonesian Borneo and Sarawak border into the major palm oil planting in the world. Researches directed by scientific firms such as CIFOR (Center for International Forestry Research) show that sample places in the ‘Heart of Borneo’ are not appropriate for producing palm oil, and the strategy would significantly affect the rich biodiversity of the region. But, the potential of assets from China and the requirement for works means that the projects are yet under consideration by the national development agency of Indonesia.

The world-renowned national park of Indonesia is not secure from an increased spread of planting palm oils. In Tanjung National Park of Central Kalimantan, home to almost six thousand orangutans is under threat. If programs by the government to give palm oil concerns on the eastern boundary go ahead, the park size would be reduced by 25 percent.

The strategies planned by a British business to change the Tripa moss swamps of north Sumatra into planting the palm oil could get the residual Sumatran orangutan’s population in this region to become extinct in 4 years. The devastation of the coastal ecosystem saved millions of lives if the forest played the role of a buffer to increase the flow during the Asian tsunami in 2004.

The increase of palm oil plantation in Malaysia and Indonesia palm oil growth is a significant threat to Borneo and Sumatra’s orangutans’ homes.

Latest Researches About Threats to Orangutans

Suppose the destruction and poaching of rain forests remain unchecked. In that case, the threats to orangutans keep on increasing, and the orangutans could disappear from Borneo and Sumatra in the future, to be found only in the zoos, according to the researchers. The warning has been announced in collaborative research by Yarrow Robertson and Kathryn Monk, both are in charge of the Leuser management of the ecosystem in the north side of Sumatra, along with Dr. Carel van Schaik of Zurich University.

Since 1998, the population of orangutans in Sumatra has been decreasing by 1,000 one year because of the increased devastation of their home. Poaching has raised the issue, and the WWF (World-Wide Fund for Nature) states there can be more orangutans in a square mile in Taipei as compared to the wild.

The fire began by the main palm oil and timber firms as an inexpensive way of land-clearance vast tracts of land are the clear threats to orangutans in the rain forests of Indonesia. Above 80% of the woods are exploited in the last two centuries, and the trend has been accelerated, as per the WWF. The government of Indonesia, which is concentrated on the awareness of this disaster, has been impotent in the face of local level devastation complicity, the environmental group warns. Illegal logging gets significant profits with the least investment and has destroyed protected zones and natural parks in many areas. The scientists even study the ecosystems that have received threats to orangutans.

The population of orangutans has reduced more than 50 percent in Sumatra from 1993, research shown by AFP. The condition in Borneo is not best, as noted by the study, referring to the place where the orangutans can be found in the forests. A third of the orangutan species population perished in the fires of great forests in 1997 – 1998, and enduring poaching and illegal logging took a heavy toll.

According to the researchers, “Unless the developments are soon stopped, no orangutan population of absolute viability will remain in the world in a decade. If our guesses are wrong, they err in the timescale of the variation; however, not in its direction.”

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Some Terrible Threats to Orangutans